Dutch primary schools, daycares could reopen on Jan. 25 despite lockdown extension
Plans to extend a lockdown in the Netherlands through the first week of February might not affect the primary schools and daycare system in the Netherlands. Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to announce that the current lockdown in the Netherlands will be extended by three more weeks, thus expiring on February 9.
Primary schools could open on January 25, political sources told newspaper AD. The condition is the result of a mass coronavirus testing experiment on the population of Lansingerland, near Rotterdam.
All 63 thousand residents aged two and up will be invited to be tested for the B117 coronavirus mutation, which originated in the UK. The mutation has created a cluster of infections around a school in Bergschenhoek, a village which makes up part of the Lansingerland municipality.
The research was announced on Monday because the UK variant is believed to be at least 55 percent more contagious than the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain most common to the Netherlands, and that B117 also spreads more easily among children.
Should the results of the GGD and Erasmus MC test in Lansingerland show no major cause for concern, primary schools, daycare centers and after school care could reopen as early as Monday, January 25, the AD reported. Earlier in the day, broadcaster NOS said that the Cabinet was considering allowing schools to reopen earlier if the lockdown drags on beyond the planned end date of January 19.
The Cabinet’s extension of the lockdown was expected to be announced during a prime time press conference with Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge on Tuesday night. The average number of new coronavirus in the Netherlands is roughly the same as when the Cabinet started emergency consultations on December 12 to initiatie the lockdown.
As such, it was not likely that new restrictions would be introduced, like a mandatory curfew or the shutdown of all hotels. More financial support for business owners was also expected to be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday.